I know that none of us wants to admit to procrastinating…..but in my case the evidence is getting more clear with each passing day.

The pathway to my front door, is getting narrower and narrower and soon, there will be no pathway visible and guests will have to wade through my Lantana.
Now, I may be guilty of procrastinating occasionally, but I am also a “glass half full” kind of girl as well.  And my procrastination does show how beautifully my Gold Lantana is growing 😉
To be completely honest, it is hard to make myself venture outside to do any type of gardening in the month of August with hot and sometimes humid temperatures.  And so, I patiently (impatiently) wait for September to arrive with cooler and drier weather before I start working in the garden again.
Now if your garden is anything like mine, you have lush green shrubs covered in blooms that are growing like crazy.  This makes early September a great time to prune them back a bit……NOT severely, just a bit (1/3 or less).  
By pruning your plants lightly, they will have time to grow back a little before the cooler temperatures of winter bring a stop to most growth.  That way you will not be stuck with overgrown shrubs all winter.
The reason NOT to prune severely this time of year is that your plants will produce lots of new, tender growth that will be extremely susceptible to frost damage and can cause their death during a hard freeze which we sometimes experience.  Do NOT wait until October to prune because it may be too late for some of the growth to come back and you may be stuck with some ugly plants until spring arrives.  **Do not prune winter flowering shrubs such as Valentine (Eremophila maculata) since you will have greatly reduced flowering.
And so, this procrastinator is ready to head out into her garden to lightly prune her Lantana, AZ Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans),  Texas Sage (Leucophyllum species) and Bougainvillea.
What will you be pruning this month?
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

16 replies
  1. Edith Hope
    Edith Hope says:

    Dear Noelle, How refreshing to hear that you are human after all!! Compared with your ability to always, it seems to me, be in the right place at the right time with the pruning shears, I am a positive sloth. In my eyes, your pathway is romantically overgrown and is lovely!!

    Reply
  2. FlowerLady
    FlowerLady says:

    Your lantana lined walkway is gorgeous. I am a big time procrastinator, especially with the heat and humidity. The cooler weather can't come fast enough for me.

    Enjoy your pruning.

    FlowerLady

    Reply
  3. Diana
    Diana says:

    I pruned my lantana but mine doesn't look that good! 🙂 Did start my garden with the compost/manure mixture you suggested today! Now waiting so I can plant! My kids are excited too! THANKS for all the info!

    Reply
  4. Kathleen Scott
    Kathleen Scott says:

    Oh this is a good reminder. I'm a prunaphobic but I'm trying to go the 12 step program so maybe pruning just a little will work for me. I've got Salvia Greggii BEGGING for pruning, and Texas Sage too. We don't prune the Yellow Bells here until they die back in the first frost.

    Thanks for keeping us growing in the right direction.

    Reply
  5. rohrerbot
    rohrerbot says:

    You've inspired me and given me ideas:) Thank you…I now have a solution to an annoying problem with gravel getting all over the sidewalk after a rain storm:) I want to go out and start the new project.:)

    Reply
  6. Meredehuit ♥
    Meredehuit ♥ says:

    That Lantana is so beautiful I would be tempted not to prune. Let guests tiptoe through it gingerly. 🙂

    Thank you for visiting my "Raspberry Morning" post. I can't imagine never tasting fresh raspberry jam… it is heavenly. Come for a visit and we'll eat toast and jam on my garden patio and watch the hummingbirds flutter! (Wouldn't that be fun?)

    Reply
  7. Carol
    Carol says:

    Like Monet I say… Let it grow! How lovely Noelle. Your guests must enjoy the stroll through Lantana. Of course you do have safety to consider. Great tips! ;>)

    Reply
  8. Pam's English Garden
    Pam's English Garden says:

    Dear Noelle,

    The trouble with procrastination it leads to feelings of guilt. Now I feel guilty because, like you, I have not yet begun the late-summer pruning. And my garden does not look lush like yours; it looks messy! Thanks for prodding me, Noelle. And I must admit, I am glad I am not the only gardening procrastinator!

    Pam

    Reply
  9. Elephant's Eye
    Elephant's Eye says:

    Tweak a few details, and we are in the same situation. Overgrown front path. Well we plant things that look good, and grow well, too well. Mine is a leggy white pelargonium, that keels over, and that Dusty Miller thug, with lavender scrambling out. And it needs pruning before the weather tips from spring is a memory, and it is too hot for anything but maintenance watering.

    Reply
  10. Amy
    Amy says:

    Well, I love an overgrown path myself, especially when it's full of blooms like yours. I just had to give my oregano "hedge" a major trim as it was taking over half the sidewalk in front of my entryway. Thanks for the tip on the cutting back by 1/3; I've got my post-freeze and end of spring pruning down, but I never know what to do post-summer.

    Reply

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